400. Praise the Savior Now and Ever

1 Praise the Savior now and ever;
praise him, all beneath the skies;
self denying, suffering, dying,
on the cross a sacrifice.
Victory gaining, life obtaining,
now in glory he doth rise!

2 Our work faileth, Christ's availeth;
he is all our righteousness.
He, our Savior, has forever
set us free from dire distress.
Through his merit we inherit
light and peace and happiness.

3 Sin's bonds severed, we're delivered;
Christ has crushed the serpent's head.
Death no longer is the stronger;
hell itself is captive led.
Christ has risen from death's prison;
o'er the tomb he light has shed.

4 For his favor, praise forever
unto God the Father sing.
Praise the Savior, praise him ever,
Son of God, our Lord and King.
Praise the Spirit; through Christ's merit
he doth us salvation bring.

Text Information
First Line: Praise the Savior now and ever
Title: Praise the Savior Now and Ever
Author: Venantius Honorius Fortunatus (569)
Translator: Augustus Nelson, 1863-1949 (alt.)
Meter: 87 87 87
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Scripture: ; ; ;
Topic: Doxologies; Funerals; Praise & Adoration (5 more...)
Tune Information
Meter: 87 87 87
Key: E♭ Major
Source: Then Swenska Psalm-Boken, Stockholm, 1697

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 2 = Rom. 5:1-11
st. 3 = Gen. 3:15

Traditionally dated the year 569, the original Latin text "Pange, lingua, gloriosi proelium," was written by Venantius H. Fortunatus for the Holy Week offices of the medieval church.

Venantius Honorius Clematianus Fortunatus (b. Cenada, near Treviso, Italy, c. 530; d. Poitiers, France, 609) was educated at Ravenna and Milan and was converted to the Christian faith at an early age. Legend has it that while a student at Ravenna he contracted a disease of the eye and became nearly blind. But he was miraculously healed after anointing his eyes with oil from a lamp burning before the altar of St. Martin of Tours. In gratitude Fortunatus made a pilgrimage to that saint's shrine in Tours and spent the rest of his life in Gaul (France), at first traveling and composing love songs. He developed a platonic affection for Queen Rhadegonda, joined her Abbey of St. Croix in Poitiers, and became its bishop in 599. His Hymns for all the Festivals of the Christian Year is lost, but some of his best hymns on his favorite topic, the cross of Jesus, are still respected today, in part because of their erotic mysticism.

One English translation by John M. Neale (PHH 342) appears in many modern hymnals as "Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle." But the version here comes through a Swedish translation ("Upp, min tunga, att lov unga") published in Andeliga Psalmer och Wijsor (1614). Johan O. Wallin revised the Swedish text, changing the Passiontide focus to an Easter focus.

Wallin's version, published in the Svenska Psalmboken (1816), was translated into English by Augustus Nelson (b. Asarum, Bleking, Sweden, 1863; d. Mankato, MN, 1949); it is one of seven Swedish hymns he prepared for the Hymnal (1925) of the Augustana Lutheran Synod. A revised version appeared in the 1958 Service Book and Hymnal.

Nelson graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, and did graduate work in philosophy and history at Yale University and at Augustana Theological Seminary, Rock Island, Illinois. During his ministry he served parishes in Michigan, Illinois, Connecticut, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

The text sets forth the gospel of Easter: Christ who died has risen in victory (st. 1), has set us free from sin (st. 2), and has conquered death and hell itself (st. 3); to that confession we respond with our praise-a doxology to the Trinity (st. 4).

Liturgical Use:
Easter; many other times.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

UPP, MIN TUNGA was published anonymously in the 1697 edition of the Swenska Psalmboken in dotted rhythms rather than the present isorhythmic form (all equal rhythms).

A bar form (AAB) tune, UPP, MIN TUNGA consists of three long lines. Avoid turning the initial phrases of these lines into choppy phrases–strive for the longer lines! Sing this majestic chorale in harmony on stanzas 1-3 and in unison on stanza 4.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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